I recently returned from travelling Malta, the little known archipelago country in the Mediterranean. Sitting between Italy and Africa, it’s the southernmost country in all of Europe. The English speaking country is surrounded by crystal clear water and boasts 300 days of sunshine annually, making it the perfect destination to visit all year round. It can easily be explored over a few days, so below I have given you the ultimate four day itinerary for exploring the beautiful island country of Malta. But be sure to visit sooner rather than later, Malta is set to become a very popular summer destination!
HOW TO GET AROUND MALTA
Whilst buses travel around the whole island frequently I think the best way to explore this country is via car. It only cost us around €40 to hire a car for three days so it probably worked out the same financially as taking multiple buses a day to each destination, but saved us a whole lot of time. Plus, I always love the freedom that having your own car gives you. You can drive around the whole island in less than a few hours, we only used a quarter of a tank of petrol in the whole three days. Once you get out of Valletta, where the roads are narrow and congested, the roads on the rest of the island are quiet and empty which makes for easy driving.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO ON MALTA ISLAND
Malta technically refers to Malta Island, the southern most (and largest) island of the three that make-up Malta, the country. I suggest spending a full day exploring Valletta, the capital city, before spending a full day exploring the remainder of the Island. Here’es everything you want to see and do on Malta Island, in order:
Unless you book far ahead accommodation in Valletta is very expensive. You’ll find more budget friendly options in Sliema or St Julians, which is about thirty minutes by bus outside of Valletta. First thing I recommend is doing the coastal walk from your accommodation into Valletta. From Sliema it’s about 5 miles.
Once you reach Valletta spend a few hours wandering the streets, admiring the architecture and the eclectic mix of Maltese and British touches. Malta is a super catholic country and a stop at St Johns Cathedral is a must if you are into cathedrals.
I highly recommend lunch at ‘The Submarine,’ cafe where I had one of the best sandwiches of my life for less than €3.50. The restaurant, which is currently number 2 on trip advisor, lets you choose your own ingredients from a board of over 60 options. I recommend the chicken, pesto, rocket and cream cheese baguette. My boyfriend raved about the steamed potato topping, which sounds weird but was delicious.
Once your belly is full head over to the Upper Barrakka Gardens for beautiful views over the harbour. Then make your way down to the port where you can catch a ferry to Vittoriosa to explore the three cities. The boat costs €2.80 return. Once you return back to Valletta enjoy dinner at one of the many beautiful outdoor restaurants. Finish off your day with Gelato shaped as a flower at Amorino.
Below are the not to be missed spots along your coastal drive around Malta island. The beauty of having your own car is having the freedom to spend as little or as long in each spot as you like.
St Peters Pool
Start day two by picking up your hire car and driving south to St Peters Pool, your first stop on today’s adventure. Don’t spend too much time here, the beauty gets better as the day goes on.
This beautiful little fishing village is the perfect spot for an early lunch. Seafood is obviously the food to eat here, visit Delimara if you have lots of money to spend or Rising Sun Bar if you are on a budget. We ate here and enjoyed swordfish, tuna steaks (be sure to try the traditional maltese roasted potatoes), traditional maltese appetisers and delicious iced caramel coffees for €14 each. It was delicious and the service was fantastic.
Once the capital, this fortified city is beautiful to explore for an hour or so.
If you want some beach time during your day exploring Malta Island this is the beach to stop at. Whilst some of the others have more sand space available Ghajn Tuffiena is the most idealic locations, in my opinion.
If you want some more sand Golden Bay is a ten minute walk away from the carpark for Ghajn Tuffiena but is a lot busier.
Another popular beach to visit along your drive.
Pop Eye Village and Anchor Bay
The green, blue waters of this bay is so beautiful they decided to use it as the location for the Pop Eye film back in the 80’s. The colourful, ramshackle houses used for the film can still be found at this idyllic spot. And whilst the crystal clear waters are super appealing the only way you can access it is by paying to visit the film set turned amusement park.
Where to Stay
We stayed at St Pauls Bay and really liked the area. We also found an incredible bakery that did the most delicious pastries for breakfast. We stayed at the San Pawl hotel, our room was huge and comfortable and the location was really great, considering the reasonable price we paid.
Driving Time and Map of Itinerary
To drive the whole Malta Island takes around 2 hours.
Malta Island is the perfect place to spend two days exploring. Keep an eye out for the next posts for recommendations for Gozo Island and the highlight of all of Malta, the beautiful Blue Lagoon!